China copyright takedown laws

Strict Copyright Takedown Laws in China

By John DiGiacomo

China has a strong system in place for ensuring the protection of copyrighted material, often resulting in almost immediate action. The Chinese copyright takedown policies are designed to protect the right of “communication through an information network.” This focuses on a right to make sound and audiovisual recordings available to the public over the Internet.

In China the ability to make recordings available to the public using the Internet requires permission of the ‘right owner’ – who is entitled to compensation whenever this right is exercised. But, when the right owner believes their copyright is being infringed there is a quick and effective way to remedy this.

The right owner must give written notice to the network service provider requesting removal of the recording. The service provider must then immediately remove the recording or disconnect the link to the recording. The written notice provided by the right owner needs to demonstrate a belief that there is an infringement of copyright protection and include details and proof of this infringement.

After the service provider has removed the recording or link, they will forward the notice from the right owner to the service recipient – the individual that posted the material and made it available to the public. If the recipient disagrees with the right owner and believes there has been no infringement, it can provide an explanation in writing to the service provider to request restoration of the material.

If the service provider receives this kind of statement from the recipient, the material must be immediately replaced or the link fixed. This statement will then be forwarded to the right owner.

The right owner cannot then request the material be removed again, otherwise the back and forth may never end. Instead, the right owner is left with two choices. They can decide to walk away and leave everything as it then stands, or they can initiate an infringement proceeding against the alleged copyright infringer.

If the service provider does not follow these procedures, they can be forced to stop the infringement, issue an apology, eliminate the ‘bad effects,’ or compensate the right owner for any losses resulting from the infringement. The more serious the copyright infringement is, the more serious the consequences will be, including possible confiscation of computers and other equipment that was used to provide the infringing material.

Now, should the right owner be in the wrong, they can also be held liable. Liability can include the payment of damages if wrongful removal or material results in a loss incurred by the service recipient.

Despite the possible back and forth and use of the service provider as the middleman, the Chinese system can provide almost immediate results. But fact-checking becomes critical –the right owner or the service recipient must make sure that the written explanation they give to their service provider is one hundred percent accurate. Otherwise, the ramifications they face as a result of not knowing all the details could be incredibly extensive.

For more information about Chinese copyright law and what happens during a takedown or removal of content from the Internet, contact Revision Legal’s Internet or Copyright attorneys through the form on this page or by calling 855-473-8474.

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